Posted: Wed 24th Feb 2016

Swansea Bay City Region submits Internet Coast City Deal bid in excess of £500m to UK and Welsh Governments

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 24th, 2016

The Swansea Bay City Region has submitted a ground-breaking ‘Internet Coast’ City Deal bid, in excess of £500m over 20 years, to the UK and Welsh Governments. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The aim is to address the integrated universal themes and challenges of energy, health and well-being and economic acceleration by harnessing the transformational power of digital networks and the asset base of Swansea Bay. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Swansea Bay City Region encompasses the four local authority areas of Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It is estimated that the City Deal investment could lever in total around £3.3bn of output and £1.3bn of gross value added for Wales, while supporting around 39,000 jobs in the region. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Chair of the Swansea Bay City Region Board Sir Terry Matthews said: “Swansea Bay became world famous in ‘the first machine age’. We aim to re-energise a vibrant and pioneering role in Wales and the UK as the world now enters ‘a new digital machine age.’ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“There are echoes of the Industrial Revolution in this vision and I am pleased to be leading the region as we aim for a new place in the global economy. I can clearly see a Swansea Bay that is globally recognised for innovation and economic acceleration once again, ideally located on ‘a digital super highway connecting the UK and North America – London and New York. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Think of the way the internet and broadband networks have transformed communications worldwide. Now imagine the same principle applied to future energy systems, to health and well-being and any number of other sectors. It is a massive opportunity and with City Deal support we can take a lead position in Wales and make our wider contribution to the UK and to Europe.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“In my letter to the Chancellor I have described the widest possible regional public sector commitment to this City Deal bid as ‘a leap of faith’ that has immense value. I sincerely hope that the bold vision and support is recognised by Government in Westminster and Cardiff Bay. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I know also that there are many private sector partners, here in Swansea Bay, across Wales and the UK and around the world who are enthused by our ‘leap of logic’. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We need to incubate, launch and grow an ecosystem of new, successful and fast growing companies here in Swansea Bay. With the clarity, direction and impetus that a City Deal can provide just watch us ‘move that needle’ to a higher level of growth” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Responding to the launch of the City Deal bid, Councillor Jamie Adams, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council said: “The focus of the City Deal on future energy systems provides an important impetus to the vitally important energy sector in Pembrokeshire. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It offers a competitive environment for the industry to thrive in the Milford Haven Enterprise Zone and elsewhere. The City Deal bid is therefore built upon strong foundations in this regard.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Nick Revell, managing director of Pembroke Dock-based Ledwood Mechanical Engineering Limited who is also a Swansea Bay City Region board member, said: “Working with our universities and colleges, the region provides significant research and development capacity to grow the region into a global centre for renewable energy”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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